Friendship benches, a WHO and FIFA project in Qatar
The countries participating in the Qatar 2022 World Cup installed the 'Friendship Benches' in Doha, a project jointly organized by Sport for Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Qatar Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) with the support of FIFA
The countries participating in the Qatar 2022 World Cup install ‘Friendship Benches’ in Doha, a project organized by Sport for Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Qatar Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to demonstrate the importance of mental health and offer advice on ways to promote mental well-being, including through the importance of physical activity and sport.
The initiative is supported by FIFA, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, WISH, the NGO Friendship Benches and the WHO Universal Health Coverage Association. The benches initiative was symbolically launched with the Bench of England previewing the Qatar Foundation’s global health event, the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in the run-up to a larger reveal of the benchs in World Mental Health Day.
English athlete Sir Mo Farah, with ten Olympic and world gold medals, opened the England bench. “The bench is a simple yet powerful vehicle for promoting mental health, from park benches where people gather to football stadiums where players and staff watch their teams play for the joy and promise of sport and success. The Friendship Benches project is a powerful reminder of the importance of how health, from mental to physical health, is precious and common to all people and nations; how, through sport people can reach out to others, as human beings, in the spirit of solidarity and support,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The final locations of each of the 32 banks will be announced soon. Once installed, information will be shared on how Qatari residents and visitors will be able to visit their national benches, and others, in a show of support for promoting mental health.
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